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Jil Sander has rekindled her relationship with Uniqlo. This October, the celebrated German designer will release a new collection for men and women under +J, a line that the Japan-based retailer produced from 2009 to 2011. Indeed, it has been a little less than a decade since Sander lent her talents to Uniqlo, but the fanfare that the partnership created has lasted well beyond the selling season. To wit: Key pieces were relaunched in 2014.
At the time, the hype centered around Sander’s comeback. She had left her eponymous label for the second time in 2004, and made few headlines before announcing her collaboration with Uniqlo. “Some of you [have known] me since I have been engaged in fashion but I’m not interested in the past,” she told WWD in 2009. “Let us talk today about the future. I’m here in Tokyo for something completely different. The challenge for me is to establish a premium quality in a democratically-priced range.”
Another factor for +J’s success was the symbiosis in their aesthetics: Sander has been coined the Queen of Less, and Uniqlo has built its reputation on offering sleek basics. Collaborating was something she carefully considered before renewing her contract. “Since I’m very, very impressed with what we can do and what Uniqlo can do, I decided to go on,” she told WWD in 2010. “So I’m timeless for the moment.”
And now, with the a new +J collection on the way, it appears that history is repeating itself. Fans who have longed for the designer’s return to the industry and for her pure, minimalist take on fashion can now rejoice. The queen has returned.
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